HEDA visits United Nations office, seeks actions on climate change, corruption.
By Samuel Ogunsona
Nigeria’s leading anti corruption group, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre ) has visited the United Nations, (UN) office in New York seeking for greater affirmative actions on Climate Change and corruption.
HEDA Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju paid a courtesy visit to the Deputy Secretary General of United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, Ms Amina Mohammed at the UN headquarters in New York.
During the visit, HEDA calls for effective action to address illicit financial flow (IFF) in the year 2023 as it has negative impact on climate change in Africa and plan for transition to clean energy.
In a summary of the visit by the HEDA Chairman, Mr Olarenwaju Suraju, made available to Irohinoodua, the group recalled remarkable activities carried out by the non governmental organization (NGO) to address the problems of climate change and its impact in 2022 in the encounter with the UN top official.
Speaking on HEDA activities he said “We also implemented various engagement to assist governments in the fight against corruption and IFF as we are very much aware of its implications on the planned energy transition and sustainable development generally,”
‘’Very recently, in a workshop titled: “Ramping Up Climate Information Service Delivery for Dry Season Farming: Averting a National Food Crises Post-2022 Flooding,” we engaged permanent secretaries at a high-level technical meeting organized in collaboration with NiMet in Abuja.
“In partnership with Oxfam in Nigeria, we also organized a forum titled: “Climate Justice Circle (CJC),” with an over-arching theme: “On the road to COP27” which was aimed at an equitable, inclusive response to various impacts of natural and human-induced effect of climate change and a just energy transition, as articulated by over 70 stakeholders physically and a host of others who joined online. The event featured no less than 37 experts including from among women, youth and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) who led discussions across 10 panel discussion and a plenary congress.
“This was followed by the post COP27 dialogue, a one-day event titled: “COP 27 Outcomes and Implications for Africa: An Assessment,” which HEDA also organised.
“Also recently, we engaged critical stakeholders in Abuja on the need for International Anticorruption Court (IACC). In December as part of its tracking and document corruption cases, and rewarding uprightness, HEDA launched the 6th Edition of its “Compendium of 100 High Profile Corruption Cases in Nigeria.”
“We also presented in the same month, the 5th Edition of the Gani Fawehinmi Impacts and Integrity Awards (GFIIA) which was chaired by Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, JAMB Registrar who presented the Awards to various category of winners including the Outstanding Integrity Awards presented to to Pa Muibi Sonubi, a 90-year-old man who as a cab driver then, found and returned huge sum of money to the owner 40 years ago.
“In the Course of the year, the organization did secured a favourable judgement against the office of the Honourable Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division, Holden in Abuja, when the court compelled the Minister to supply HEDA with the information it requested under Nigeria’s FOI Act.
“During the year, the organisation engaged the protection of the shrinking civic space with issuing solidarity statements, supported victims with litigation and followed up on actions.
HEDA said, “From indiscriminate suspensions and fines slammed on broadcasting stations including Vision FM and Farin WATA TV by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) among others; and the attacks on journalists including arrest and detention of reporters of Peoples Gazette (an online media platform) by officers and men of the Federal Capital Territory’s Police Command, among others; to the attempt to silence dissent indicated by the persecution of civil society organisations, including the flagrant attacks by agents of Akwa Ibom State government on Policy Alert as well as the persecution of HEDA Resource Centre and its leadership by corrupt individuals fingered in the OPL 24 scam amongst a host of other issues, show that indeed, the shrinking civic space is leaving no one untouched.
“We engaged appropriately on each of the cited cases and others including the harassment and persecution of the former Chairman of the Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC), Mr Muhyi Magaji and indeed the latest version of judicial tyranny exhibited in form of an order by Justice Ekaette Obot’s to jail a Human Rights Lawyer – Inibehe Effiong – in Uyo Correctional Centre for what she (Justice Obot) termed “insolence and dishonourable acts” by the young lawyer.” We hope that there will be a freer civic space in 2023, HEDA said.